For many immigrants living in the United States, one of the most challenging aspects is being separated from their loved ones. As of July 21, 2023, the National Visa Center began to send out invitations to allow certain petitioners to participate in the Family Reunification Parole (“FRP”) process for their Colombian, Salvadoran, Guatemalan and Honduran family members.
The first step in determining if your loved one might be eligible for the FRP program is making sure that they have an approved Form I-130 or Family Petition. If you are unsure if your family member’s I-130 was approved or not it is important to speak to an immigration attorney to help you determine where you are at in the process. The FRP program will not be available to those whose petition is pending or considered abandoned.
Your family member must be outside of the United States to be eligible. If they attempted to enter the United States outside of a port of entry or were previously removed from the United States, this program will not be available to them.
The FRP program is by invitation only, you cannot make a request to participate in the program. The best way to maximize your chances of being invited to participate is by ensuring that your information with the National Visa Center is current and accurate. If you do not have an email on file with the National Visa Center they will attempt to contact you through mail.
After receiving the Invitation Letter you will have one year to file the Forms I-134A for your relative and any derivate family members that were included in the previously approved petition. Again, if you are unsure of who was included in the petition it is important to check before you receive your invitation letter. Marriage and the age of children will affect their ability to not only participate in the program but eventually receive permanent residency.
You must also have a USCIS Online account. Form I-134A is only available online, and all supporting documentation will also be required to be uploaded through your account.
As a discretionary benefit there is no guarantee that USCIS will grant the temporary parole afforded by the FRP program. The parole granted under FRP allows the beneficiary to live and work in the United States legally for a specified period. Background checks, medical exams and availability of documents will greatly impact a family member’s ability to utilize the FRP Program.
If you or a loved one has questions regarding this program or the family petition process, contact one of our offices for a consultation with one of our experienced immigration attorneys. We offer telephonic, video, and in-person consultations at our offices in Orange, Riverside, San Diego, Fresno, Sacramento, and San Francisco, California; Phoenix, Arizona; Salt Lake City and Orem, Utah; and Boise, Idaho.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)
Danny Chrisney is the managing lawyer at the Wilner & O’Reilly | Phoenix office. The son of a Guatemalan immigrant, Danny speaks fluent Spanish. Growing up in the Latino community of Southern California Danny saw how our nation’s immigration laws could shape the lives of those around him. Danny received his Juris Doctor degree from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University where he graduated with Highest Pro Bono Distinction. While attending law school Danny worked with USCIS at the Phoenix Field Office. There he received a Certificate of Appreciation for his legal research. He was also able to work as a law clerk for the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project, Children’s Division, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing legal services to unaccompanied minors and other refugees. He worked closely with Indigenous Guatemalan children in the areas of Asylum and Special Immigrant Juvenile Status.